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CJADC2 Model Evolves in Europe and Africa

The United States’ pursuit of coalition-integrated command and control across both geographic areas of responsibilities is evolving amid theater challenges.

With partners in Europe and Africa, the United States is advancing its federated networks and information and data sharing, which is critical given the geopolitical environments and war in Ukraine. Today’s warfare is indeed coalition-based, and the demand to integrate command and control (C2) with allies and partners will only increase. The complexities of providing C2 in such a fashion across air, land, sea, space and cyber domains must evolve for the United States and its allies and partners to succeed against adversaries.

“Combined Joint All-Domain Command and Control (CJADC2) is going to empower our combined and joint force commanders with the capabilities needed to command forces across all warfighting domains, and throughout the electromagnetic spectrum, to deter, and if necessary, to defeat any adversary at any time, in any place, around the globe,” explained Brig. Gen. Paul Fredenburgh, USA (Ret.), AFCEA’s executive vice president for National Security and Defense, moderating a panel on CJADC2 at AFCEA International’s TechNet Transatlantic conference on December 6.

Applying CJADC2 from a NATO perspective requires recognizing that the alliance has evolved into a much larger, more complex organization with 32 nations. This not only means that the United States has to integrate with more nations but must also understand that it is a 1/32nd equal partner across the European Continent, which has implications for how CJADC2 progresses, said Maj. Gen. John Phillips, USAR, director, J-6, Cyber/C4, U.S. European Command (EUCOM).

“North Macedonia has an equivalent vote in NATO that the United States has, an equivalent vote when it comes to sharing information, creating a mission partner environment and getting after capability sets,” Gen. Phillips said.

Moreover, approximately 640 of the U.S.-developed F-35 Lightning II fighter jets will be deployed by other NATO nations in the European theater over the next eight to nine years, the general continued, with the United States having only 24 of those theater aircraft. The investments NATO nations are sending to the United States for the aircraft’s acquisition under foreign military sales are part of the F-35 global program, which in itself is a complex arrangement.

“And it is how we integrate those,” the EUCOM J-6 considered. “Right now we have operations on the eastern flank, with multiple countries contributing AWACS [airborne warning and control aircraft], F-18s and F-16s, to provide an air defense picture just outside the border of Ukraine.”














Achieving the model of CJADC2 also requires the United States’ expansion of Link-16 as well as the modernization of cryptography. This will ensure all partner nations have a common operating picture for their portion of NATO security. “This is vitally important,” Gen. Phillips emphasized. “We must share and we must have a system that will sense target opportunities, overlaying that with relevant information, rapidly identifying the best steps to deter that target, and do that at the speed of relevance.”

For Brig. Gen. Ray Phariss, USAR, the G-6/chief information officer for U.S. Army Europe and Africa, advancing mission partner networks, increasing interoperability and building partner capacity with NATO allies is what is needed for CJADC2 from a U.S. land warfare perspective. “And cybersecurity, it underpins all that network activity we do,” Gen. Phariss said.

In addition, the Army in Europe and Africa is looking for deployable and mobile communications. “For the operational and tactical level,” he said. “That's a very challenging problem set that we encounter, and particularly how we integrate commercial services and products into that problem set.”

Naturally, military networks under a CJADC2 construct would have to support data-centric operations versus traditional network-centric operations. “Another large conversation within the U.S. military right now is the concept of moving away from network-centric operations,” Gen. Phariss said. “How do we get away from operating three, four or five different networks and all the costs and infrastructure associated with that.” Having credentialing and access management fit into one physical network is key, along with delivering relevant information at the right level of classification to users based on their identity and level of authorized access.

Meanwhile, Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) Europe, in its role as a combat support agency for Department of Defense (DoD) operations on the continent, is focusing on evolving command and control, said Raven Fuentes, technical director, DISA Europe.

“As part of our lines of effort, we're going to continue to push forward on C2,” Fuentes noted. “How we do that is based off of a lot of different things that we're doing within the agency to advance our workforce, our programs, and many other day-to-day directions that we're getting from the DoD chief information officer.”








Maj. Gen. John Phillips
Right now we have operations on the eastern flank, with multiple countries contributing AWACS [airborne warning and control aircraft], F-18s and F-16s, to provide an air defense picture just outside the border of Ukraine.
Maj. Gen. John Phillips, USAR
Director J-6, Cyber/C4, U.S. European Command


DISA is also continuing to add to the mission partner environment. “We need to go in and look at it and from the beginning, to start building out things that are needed based off user requirements, based off their requests, in order for us to be effective in theater,” Fuentes explained. “[DISA Director] General [Robert] Skinner has stated many times that we don’t fight alone. We know that we need to continue to work to provide interoperability and capabilities to the warfighter.”

For U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), Frank Bryan, the command’s deputy chief information officer, ACJ-6, who has worked in the special operations environment for two decades, sees similar technology needs for operational requirements on the continent. The J-6 is supporting the African Communications Information Environment, or ACIE, and is employing architecture for black transport and end services for AFRICOM and its supporting units.

They have also implemented what they call their Africa mission partner environment, an impact level 2 cloud environment through Microsoft Azure. “We are providing Office 365 services to specific allies and partners at this moment,” Bryan said. “That's to enable that interoperability and that ability to communicate down to a phone, perhaps, a bring-your-own-device phone.” They have also launched a virtual private network in which containerized applications can be built.

“It doesn't matter what the application is,” Bryan continued. “We can launch that to a phone or to a person. We can call it Internet of Things where everybody is a sensor, which everybody should be a sensor.”

Next, the AFRICOM J-6 hopes to move capabilities to impact level 4 or 5. For this, Bryan tests and implements those types of environments through interoperability boards with the U.S. allies and partners on the continent. “That gets after the technical aspects of the architecture, as they talk requirements, and in the end, it's all about sharing information as much as possible with our allies and partners,” he said.

TechNet Transatlantic, hosted by AFCEA Europe in Frankfurt December 6-7, 2023, is the organization’s inaugural flagship event, bringing together military leaders and industry from Europe and Africa.